A day after longtime Coroner Peter Galvan pleaded guilty to stealing from taxpayers, a St. Tammany doctor who has worked for the office for several years has indicated she will seek the post Galvan held for 14 years.
Dr. Leanne Truehart, a board certified psychiatrist and the mental health director for the coroner’s office, said Thursday she will not apply to be the interim coroner, and that she will instead run for the seat when a special election is called.
Truehart has served as a contract employee of the coroner’s office since 2012, when Galvan awarded her a contract worth $180,000 per year to handle the mental health duties at the Coroner’s Office. The contract called for Truehart to handle all involuntary mental health commitments, and other duties.
Truehart’s name has not appeared in either the federal bill of information charging Galvan or the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s report on the office, both of which accused Galvan of conspiring with other office employees to steal taxpayer money to pay for meals, personal and other items.
Her name was first floated by Michael DeFatta, chief deputy coroner, who stood to automatically take over as interim coroner when Galvan stepped down. But in a letter to the Council, DeFatta refused to accept the appointment and instead nominated Truehart for the interim post. His letter also said Truehart intended to run to fill out the remainder of Galvan’s term.
Truehart said her decision to run came after consultation with colleagues, friends and family.
Galvan resigned as coroner Oct. 18.
Truehart joins one another announced candidate: Robert Muller, a Slidell gynecologist, who said Monday that he planned to run. Muller also submitted an application to become interim coroner, but the council has decided to only accept applications from those who agree not to run for the position. As of early Thursday afternoon, two people had submitted paperwork and said they were interested in the position: Slidell primary care doctor Adrian Talbot and Covington cardiologist Pramod Menon.